This past Saturday we offered a “Doodling is for Everyone” Family Super Saturday program. Our program was ridiculously easy to prep for and it costed us nothing to offer. Although this was a fun Family Super Saturday, in future I think I will use this ideas as a passive program. To prep, a volunteer cut out maybe 100 3.5″ squares of drawing paper and sharpened our drawing pencils. I had three books on doodling designs on the tables in our programming room. When people came, I showed them the doodling and Zentangle books we had available on the tables and told everyone that “You just have a small piece of paper to fill. Do not worry about coming up with a perfect idea right away. Try something new that you usually do not try when you doodle. These books have lots of ideas to get you started!” I was surprised that everyone who came settled in very quickly and went to work. We doodled for an hour and only stopped because the library was closing. I also realized after about 5 minutes that I needed to sit down and doodle with everyone. It was not okay for me to just introduce them to the activity, I needed to be there doodling myself and talking with the kids and parents every few moments about their designs. It was a good reminder for me about how important it is to be “present” at every program and available for questions and to build relationships with the patrons who come!
For more ideas, Karissa in the Library blog also has a great write-up on a doodling program she offered.
If I was to offer this again, I would probably want to have more doodling books available, or even print off some adult coloring sheets and have those out as doodling examples. I also think next year we will try to offer our large family program the second Saturday in January (instead of the 3rd week in January like we did this year). It seemed like adults parents/caregivers were getting cabin fever last week and our library was alive with kids and families returning and checking out books. A parent even asked me if we had a program last Saturday, and when I told it was next week, they seemed disappointed. Last year I offered a “Kids’ Winter Crafts Open House” Family Super Saturday on the second Saturday in January, and it was very well attended. This year we did not see as great of an attendance, so I am not sure if it was because the program that was less interesting, or if the third Saturday in January is a tired time for families and they do not want to leave home to go out and do things. So, I will keep tabs on this, and see if it is a hidden programming opportunity date in my community!
Have you offered a doodling program before? What went well, and what would you like to see changed and offered differently?